The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Baba-Jamal, has called on all players in the tourism industry to contribute towards the implementation of the tourism levy, which was established under the new Tourism Act of 2011.
He explained that the one percent tourism levy that would be charged on expenses made by persons, who visit tourist facilities, would be used to establish the Tourism Development Fund for the development of sector.
Speaking at a zonal sensitization workshop on the Tourism Act in Koforidua on Wednesday, the Deputy Minister said the money collected under the levy would not be paid into the Consolidated Fund but be kept in a special account to be managed by a board chaired by a person from the private sector.
Mr Baba-Jamal explained that public servants would serve on the board to share their technical knowledge and experience in the industry.
Managers of hotels and tourism facilities in the Eastern Region attended the workshop.
Mr Baba-Jamal said the Fund would not be used for only the provision of infrastructure, but also for training of players in the industry and for the promotion and marketing of Ghana’s tourism.
He said all players in the industry stood to gain from the increased tourists’ inflow that would be achieved.
He said within the last three years, the number of air flight companies landing in Ghana increased from 16 to 33 and what was needed now was how to get people on transit to stay longer.
The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Ebenezer Terlabi, called for more education on the benefits of the levy to the people to help raise the needed funds for the development of tourism.
He said most of the tourist sites in the country were underdeveloped and much needed to be done to make those places easily accessible.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Eastern Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Ms Victoria Awuah said the tourism levy could bring a major change in the tourism industry if properly managed.